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 James Dickey McFaddin

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James Dickey McFaddin

  • Birth 30 Aug 1805 Clarendon County, South Carolina, USA
  • Death 1 Sep 1892 Sumter County, South Carolina, USA
  • Burial Sumter, Sumter County, South Carolina, USA
  • Memorial ID 40751422

James Dickey McFaddin was the third child and only son of Robert and Leah McFaddin, and was born at the old DuRant place, a place formerly owned by Robert and Leah McFaddin, and later inherited by their daughter Mary, who married Dr. R. R. DuRant. The place was located on Black River, just below the Sumter County line, in Clarendon County, S.C. The house in which he was born has long since vanished from the face of the earth with only the old grave yard left behind to tell the tale of a now almost forgotten age. Upon his marriage in 1828 he moved to a tract of land which he purchased in Sumter County on Black River, twelve miles from the town of Sumter. The place is now known as the old McFaddin place, or "Liberty Hall". At the time of its purchase by James Dickey McFaddin, it was little more than a vast wilderness, and probably without a single dwelling. He began the clearing of the land and the construction of houses in 1828, and lived in one of the out buildings until about 1833. This cabin was known in latter days as the "wash house", and in this cabin his first two children were born.Before his death it became a very beautiful plantation and a wonderfully fine example of a southern home. The grounds were spacious; fully three acres being utilized in the garden; ten acres in the yard and fully twenty acres in the lot. The place was covered with huge oaks and a few pines and the whole impression was one of beauty, retirement and refinement. There were nine buildings in the yard and eleven in the lot, all substantial buildings. Back of these was the ever-present Negro street of those by-gone days, and the Negro houses were all well constructed. The wonderful old wells (there were 2 of them on the place), have a sentimental story to tell, and the "old oaken bucket" at the wells of the McFaddin place, will live in history forever. A large 25 acre peach orchard was a feature of the plantation. These trees were all "seedlings," but produced fruit that would compare favorable with the best of the modern time. Figs and scuppernongs were plentiful, as well as other fruits. It is significant of the character of the man that starting life with but a pittance, moving into a veritable wilderness, this staunch pioneer, almost single-handed, through his own perseverance and business ability accumulated a vast estate, including 5500 acres of land and many hundreds of slaves during his long and useful life. In connection with the home place mention should be made of the 2 principle McFaddin Cemeteries. The old McFaddin graveyard is located on the old DuRant place, now called "Cedar Grove", where James Dickey McFaddin was born and where the parents of James, Robert & Leah McFaddin were buried. James Dickey McFaddin's title of Captain was earned as a result of his Captaincy of a company of militia before the war. Incidentally it was well to not that in spite of his patriotism, Captain McFaddin was too old to serve actively in the War Between the States, but like other distinguished patriots of South Carolina, incapacitated for physical service, he gave of his substance unsparingly, and so every spare dollar was invested in the cause of the Confederacy. His entire life was marked by the fact that it was accompanied by no blowing of trumpets, no superfluities, no useless blarny. He was a man of few words, of earnest determination,, and as he lived a modest citizen, so it was his wish that his epitaph be the simple inscription which his tombstone bears. Captain McFaddin was one of the truly great, silent statesmen, who formed the backbone of the Confederacy, whose high ideals and stern moral characters were responsible for the great accomplishments during the early years of the development of South Carolina. He was always a devoted churchman, and though assuming through modesty a comparatively retiring position in the church, his was the moving spirit which carried the church on to higher accomplishments, and he was one of the most valuable soldiers of the church in carrying on the cause of the Kingdom of Christ. Capt. McFaddins's home was always headquarters for the minister in the early days. He would travel to Sumter on Saturday and carry the pastor out to his home, keeping him as his guest through the week end, and returning him to Sumter on Monday; and extending to him while his guest, that genuine, noted hospitality that could come truly and only from an antebellum South Carolina plantation. As an interesting side light upon his sterling character, it is befitting to note here that with all of his ecclesiastical enthusiasm, all of his denominational pride, and all of his zeal in the Master's cause, Captain McFaddin was one of the most broad-minded, tolerant churchman of his day. Though a staunch and stern Presbyterian, he fully appreciated the glorious achievements of his fellow churchmen of other sects, religions and denominations, and was ever ready to extend them aid and assistance in their work. Physically, Captain McFaddin was about 6 ft. 4 in tall, and proportioned to fit his height. He was a magnificent specimen of manhood, hardy, hale and healthy, and always particularly careful of his physique. In his latter days his hair and beard were snow white, and with his height and dignified bearing, he was indeed a venerable patriarch; every inch a man, a Christian and a gentleman. He was liberal, prudent and greatly beloved by his friends and neighbors. He earned and enjoyed their respect because of the soundness of his judgment, and because of his clear understanding. He was a faithful provider, and bountifully cared for his children in the settling of his own estate while he yet lived. Perhaps the most beautiful side of his nature was displayed in his kindness and justice to his Negroes. He provided for them well. In their own interest he demanded industry and alertness to duty; and because of his careful, wise handling of them he was the recipient of their faithfulness and unbounded devotion. Records show that he was the owner of hundred of slaves and they represented a large and very happy family, with greatest confidence in their master. His one chief recreation was deer hunting, and periodically through the proper season he would gather with his friends in the swamps and woodlands in his section in pursuit of the then plentiful deer of the country. From an educational standpoint Capt. McFaddin's opportunities were limited. It was impossible for him therefore to secure more than the rudiments of an education. Capt. McFaddin, in spite of difficulties was forced to educate himself. He could be numbered among the fortunate few who are wise enough to listen much and talk little, and what he said was usually accepted as authority from a man who knew.As a farmer and stockman Capt. McFaddin inherited the peculiar insight, perseverance and industry of his forefathers, and was recognized as one of the state's most successful farmers. In the early 1850's he was a successful slave owner, and later, after the war, successfully operated his farm with paid labor. In addition to the cultivation of the principal money crops, he very wisely farmed on a "live-at-home" basis and most easily provided for his entire family as well as his hundreds of slaves, stock, swine & cattle. His provision crops usually occupied 4 to 5 times the acreage of his cotton crops, and this practice was maintained to the end of life, though in his latter days there were no slaves to provide for. Hog killing time each year was a big event for the family. Many hundreds were killed, and the killing was usually held twice a year. They were events looked forward to with great anticipation by all members of the plantation family, both white and black.
In completing this intimate picture, it is well to call attention to the well-rounded qualities of this excellent citizen; his efficiency in business; his devotion to his church; his loyalty to the Confederacy; his generosity to the Democracy in 1876-78; his open-heartedness toward his fellowman, and his evident possession of a true sense of justice and right, the principal qualities which marked his career, and which are handed down as shining jewels to posterity. -by Abram Louis Blanding "Blanding-McFaddin 1553-1906".


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  • Created by: Robin Wallace Brown
  • Added: 16 Aug 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 40751422
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for James Dickey McFaddin (30 Aug 1805–1 Sep 1892), Find A Grave Memorial no. 40751422, citing Concord Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Sumter, Sumter County, South Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Robin Wallace Brown (contributor 47094517) .